And a 2008 Delete Key Awards honorable mention to …
To Steve Martin for:
“Henrietta the hare wore a habit in heaven, / Her hairdo hid hunchbacks: one hundred and seven.”
And to Roz Chast for a drawing that may leave thousands of children with the idea that the plural of “Inca” is “Incans”
From The Alphabet From At to Y: With Bonus Letter Z! by Steve Martin and Roz Chast (Doubleday)
At their best Steve Martin and Roz Chast are two of the funnier people in America. But the actor and cartoonist bring out the worst in each other in an alphabet book – a category typically aimed at 2-to-4-year-olds — that makes fun of, among others, people with disabilities.
Martin and Chast didn’t win the top prize partly because the Delete Key Awards recognize the year’s worst writing in books. And the couplet quoted here, if tasteless, is better written than the grand prize winner and runners-up. Martin’s jaunty anapestic lines are clear, metrically sound and (unlike Chast’s reference to those “Incans”) grammatically correct. This book would raise fewer objections if billed as a book for teenagers or adults (which it is) instead of for 2-year-olds (which it isn’t).
© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.